Interviewee: Dan Moury
Interviewer: Allison Wonsick
Date: November 16, 2010
Dan Moury was born in 1935, in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1944, he contracted polio, and although his mother attempted to care for him at home, he went to the emergency polio hospital in Hickory when she felt that she couldnât give him the therapy that he needed. He stayed under the care of the hospital as it was transferred to facilities in Charlotte, and he eventually had surgery at Warm Springs and was able to return home.
Part of Mouryâs interview focuses on the role that nurses played in his hospital stay. His mother and some female relatives of other patients worked as nursesâ aides at the hospital, as did some female prisoners. He recounts the difficulty that the hospital faced in finding nurses willing to work with this highly feared illness. Moury describes the positive mindset that hospital caregivers tried to instill in him and the relationship, somewhat like that of a parent and child, that developed between patients and nurses. He describes nurses that he liked or admired and remarks on the relative absence of doctors from his memories. As a biochemistry professor, Moury has taught nursing classes, and, in the interview, he reflects on the changes he has observed in nursing and in nursesâ education.
Moury also describes other aspects of his life as a polio patient, such as the process of admission to the emergency hospital, a typical day in the hospital, his treatments, and the progress of his therapy and recovery. He discusses his fatherâs work as a kind of polio activists, the segregated facilities of the hospital, and the strangeness of returning to school after his illness. He explains what the public conception of polio and its transmission was at the time of his illness. Moury talks about the camaraderie of children in the hospital and the current community of polio survivors.